Chairman’s Annual General Meeting Report
Bear River Innovation, Growth, and Development Society (BRIDGS)
Delivered by John Malmström at public meeting on April 11th, 2007
In partnership with numerous other organizations and through its volunteer efforts, BRIDGS has:
1. Identified and built strong consensus amongst community stake holders through dialogues with area volunteer organizations and village-wide “town hall” presentations/gatherings
2. Based upon the community’s input, created a “Vision Document” which sets out the general objectives of Bear River’s short, intermediate, and long term goals
3. Formalized the structure of the BRIDGS organization including subcommittees, by-laws, incorporation and regular open meetings for the community.
4. Co-lobbied with Board of Trade to stimulate municipal governments to secure feasibility studies for local infrastructure improvement necessary for the realization of the village’s long-term goals.
5. Built a successful relationship with the local and regional press to help the greater community remain informed and involved with the village’s progress.
6. Answered the community’s desire to serve local young people by opening, maintaining, staffing, and funding (all through generous local donations and first of a continuing series of “Variety Nights”), of a safe, fun gathering place for area youth with regular hours of operation.
7. Received generous investments from Annapolis and Digby Municipalities, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and Nova Scotia Office of Economic Development.
8. Created significant contract employment for area residents while creating sustainable economic activity.
9. Changing perceptions province-wide, which reflect Bear River as a “vital community.”
10. Have demonstrated that the funding is available, projects are achievable, unified voice is the way towards government support, sustainable economic development is key to infrastructure repair
11. Major projects underway:
o operation of the Youth Centre (continuing)
o Strategic Development Plan for Bear River (Completion Date May1st.)
o Bear River Pageant (due to premier this summer)
Challenges and recommendations in the next 6 months will be:
1. Continuing operation and funding of the Bear River Youth Centre (BRYC) to include a paid employee.
2. Completion of the Strategic Plan leading to realization of objectives
3. Bear River Pageant
4. Executive Board and volunteer base development
5. Continuing forward momentum and daily small victories